|By Tom Sloper
May 26, 2013
American Mah Jongg (2013 NMJL card). You've just picked the tile at the right. What would you discard?
1. You picked 7B; keep it. Looks like high odds or high consec. Throw 1C or a dragon (keep the 4C pair for joker bait, as discussed in column 423).
2. Picked 9C; now it looks good for high odds or Like Nos.; throw 6C.
3. That 5B points towards Odds #4. Shame that those 9Bs have to go. At least one of them, for now.
4. Got a 3rd 9C. Problem: Odds #4 can use only two. Throw it back.
5. 6C isn't needed for Evens #2, #4, or #5.
6. Evens #4 or #5, and you have to decide right now. Not counting Js: eight tiles towards #5, nine towards #4. #4 is stronger and less risky. 8C and 4B can go.
7. A decision must be made. You'd need to keep all three Fs for Odds #3, but there are no more than three non-Fs for that hand. You'd need just two Fs for Consec. #5, but there are no more than four non-Fs for that one. So just six tiles for each (not counting J). Likewise, six tiles for Odds #2. Look at Odds #7; seven tiles, but you're missing whole pairs. Make life simpler; just go Odds. Kill 8D.
8. Seven tiles (not counting J) towards Odds #3, and seven towards Odds #2. The 5Bs don't work for either. Ten towards Odds #7, but no 5D pair. Throw 5B.
9. The pair of fives doesn't have enough near-number neighbors for Consec., so aiming for Odds, throw a two.
10. Possible Consec. #2 or #5, as well as Odds #3 or #4. Naah, the heck with Consec. #2. Get rid of 6D.
11. Odds #4 is stronger than the other two possibles (Consec. #5 and Odds #3). One option has to go, and throwing 1D leaves two good options alive.
12. Eight tiles towards Odds #4 (not counting Js); only seven towards Consec. #5. 4B and F can go.
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Need rules for American mah-jongg? Tom Sloper's book, The Red Dragon & The West Wind, is the most comprehensive book in existence about the American game. AND see FAQ 19 for fine points of the American rules (and commonly misunderstood rules). AND get the official rulebook from the NMJL (see FAQ 3).
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